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WWE Shows Still Available on Hulu Despite Removal Warnings; Where Will it Go If it Leaves the Service?

David Satin

The saga of WWE wrestling content on Hulu has been a long and tortured one. Hulu currently holds next-day streaming rights to WWE shows, while the live streaming rights for the company’s major monthly events belong to NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock. In recent months, Hulu has told its viewers multiple times that it would be losing the library of WWE content, only for the programming to remain available on the service. The most recent indication that the titles would be leaving Hulu came on Tuesday with expiration dates appearing on the majority of WWE.

According to Thurston’s tweet, all WWE content except for “Friday Night SmackDown” — which airs on FOX — was due to disappear from Hulu on Oct. 25 or 26, but as of the time of this article, all of those episodes remain available. The only thing that has disappeared is Hulu’s tags from each video which stated when the content was scheduled to be pulled.

Why those shows haven’t been removed from the platform yet is something of a mystery. The WWE’s flagship show “Monday Night RAW” airs on Comcast’s USA Network, but over the past few months, the company has transitioned all of its content from appearing on Hulu the day after it airs to Peacock.

This is all taking place as Disney and Comcast are currently sparring over the future of Hulu. The two media giants recently engaged in an interesting war of words over Comcast’s contractual sale of its 33% stake in Hulu to Disney in 2024.

If the WWE titles do eventually leave Hulu, as has been repeatedly promised, Peacock is the most likely destination for the library. The WWE has had a relationship with NBCUniversal for nearly four decades, dating back to “Saturday Night’s Main Event” on NBC which debuted in 1985 and the USA Network has broadcast 24 of the 29 years that “Monday Night RAW” has been on the air.

The relationship took an additional step forward last year when the WWE merged its WWE Network with Peacock in the United States. Now, every premium live event (formerly called pay-per-views) streams on Peacock domestically, and the archive and original content that was previously available on the WWE Network is on Peacock as well.

However, the question of where all of the WWE content resides isn’t merely up to NBCU and Disney. All of FOX’s primetime content streams next day on Hulu, including “Friday Night SmackDown.” Before Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, the company owned one-third of Hulu as well, and even though the linear FOX network was not part of the deal, its contracts with Hulu remained in place. So, whatever the future holds for WWE programming will have to contend with that aspect of the wrestling federation’s broadcast agreements.

No matter what happens with Hulu and Peacock in the short term, there is a future where all of the WWE’s programming could wind up on a streaming service. During the company’s second-quarter 2022 earnings call, WWE co-CEO and president Nick Khan said that the company has seen an increase in the number of streaming companies vying for live entertainment and is not opposed to the WWE going that route.

Hulu

Hulu is a video streaming service that gives access to thousands of full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, kids shows, and Hulu Originals like The Handmaid’s Tale.

It offers a good selection of current TV shows and its ad-supported tier is cheaper than both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You will be able to watch most shows from networks like ABC and Fox, and cable channels like FXX, FXM, HGTV, and more.

The service has a Limited Commercials plan for US$ 7.99 a month, or you can upgrade to their No Ads plan for US$ 14.99 a month. For US$ 69.99 a month, you can get Hulu Live TV from major cable channels, live locals and regional sports networks.

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